How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm

And Other Adventures in Parenting (from Argentina to Tanzania and everywhere in between)

By Mei-Ling Hopgood

Published by Algonquin Books

A tour of global practices that will inspire American parents to expand their horizons (and geographical borders) and learn that there’s more than one way to diaper a baby.
Mei-Ling Hopgood, a first-time mom from suburban Michigan—now living in Buenos Aires—was shocked that Argentine parents allow their children to stay up until all hours of the night. Could there really be social and developmental advantages to this custom? Driven by a journalist’s curiosity and a new mother’s desperation for answers, Hopgood embarked on a journey to learn how other cultures approach the challenges all parents face: bedtimes, potty training, feeding, teaching, and more.
Observing parents around the globe and interviewing anthropologists, educators, and child-care experts, she discovered a world of new ideas. The Chinese excel at potty training, teaching their wee ones as young as six months old. Kenyans wear their babies in colorful cloth slings—not only is it part of their cultural heritage, but strollers seem outright silly on Nairobi’s chaotic sidewalks. And the French are experts at turning their babies into healthy, adventurous eaters. Hopgood tested her discoveries on her spirited toddler, Sofia, with some enlightening results.
This intimate and surprising look at the ways other cultures raise children offers parents the option of experimenting with tried and true methods from around the world and shows that there are many ways to be a good parent.

$15.95 (US)

Product Details
Number of pages
Publication date
January 10, 2012
Books also available at
Meet the Author
Mei-Ling Hopgood headshot

Mei-Ling Hopgood

More about the author
Review quotes
"The book is breezy and entertaining and Hopgood is charmingly self-deprecating about her own mothering of the formidable Sofia, who emerges as a sassy character in her own right."—Boston Globe

"A pleasure to read . . . No doubt some details will be too enticing not to try, like recruiting the whole family for meal preparation and training young children to take responsibility for simple tasks. Ultimately, this absorbing assemblage of perspectives will help widen our own." —BookPage

"Throughout her carefully organized text, [Hopgood] shows enormous respect for everyone she speaks with and everything she learns... A best bet for new parents.”—Booklist starred review

"Hopgood’s text is a satisfying mix of research, observation, interview, and personal experience... Readers will laugh, marvel and muse over the many (frequently opposing) child-rearing methods that persist despite the growing globalization of parenthood.”—Publishers Weekly